NEW GLOUCESTER — A proposal from nonprofit Day One to open a 12-bed substance abuse treatment facility for young men and boys will now head to the New Gloucester Planning Board, having cleared several challenges made through the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals process.

The Board of Appeals voted 4-0 last week to uphold a determination by town Code Enforcement Officer Debra Parks Larrivee that the proposed treatment facility is an approved use within the town’s rural residential district and is subject to site plan review by the Planning Board.

Three formal appeals were filed by residents after Parks Larrivee’s determination, and about 50 people filled the New Gloucester meetinghouse last week when the Board of Appeals heard from appellants, Day One representatives, and members of the public.

Town Planner Scott Hastings said he expects the Planning Board to hold a public hearing on the proposal at its next meeting on May 1.

Day One, a nonprofit based in South Portland that provides substance abuse treatment and prevention services to Maine youth, proposes to use a two-story home it purchased at 934 Intervale Road to house males ages 14-20. The facility would replace an existing Day One location in Hollis.

Board of Appeals members made reference to the volume of comments they received about the project at the previous meeting, which included both opposition and support.

“Most of the concerns I heard last week were regarding issues that the Planning Board would review and approve or disapprove,” board member Norman Chamberlain said at the meeting.

“The concerns that were brought up last week, though very valid, unfortunately, we cannot use those to consider this,” board member Kathleen Potter added.

“Really this comes down to use, and whether it’s an approved use under the ordinance,” Chamberlain said about the Board of Appeals’ role.

The town’s zoning ordinance lists nursing homes and residential care facilities – subject to performance standards for elderly housing – along with community living arrangements as permitted uses subject to site plan review in the rural residential zone. The ordinance language also contains a provision that allows for “uses similar to permitted uses.”

Residents appealing Parks Larrivee’s ruling argued in part that the proposed Day One facility does not fall under those permitted uses within the rural residential zone.

Matt Junker can be contacted at 781-3661 ext. 123 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattJunker